By: Kebba AF Touray
The Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), has just concluded the 111th Session of the Council of Ministers of the OACPS meeting. The virtual meeting was held on Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th of December 2020.
The meeting aimed to update member states on the Post –Cotonou negotiations and deliberate on strategic sectors of works of the organisation that have been implemented against the backdrop of an unprecedented global crisis.
This development has been issued by the Gambia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs on its website, on Monday 21st December 2020.
In his intervention and as a member of the Ministerial Bureau, Mr Mambury Njie congratulated the new President of the Council, Hon. Prof. John Kabudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Further speaking, Hon. Njie thanked the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels as well as the Lead Negotiator of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, Hon. Prof. Robert Dussey and
Foreign Affairs Minister of Togo for the completion of technical and Ministerial level negotiations with the European Union for a post-Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
Minister Njie noted that even though the negotiations are completed, the OACPS side needs to maintain vigilance in the next steps including the legal scrubbing to ensure that the language of the agreed text be maintained to avoid weakening the draft agreement.
He further highlighted important elements in the draft agreed text which are of particular importance to The Gambia.
Minister Njie told participants: “the road we are embarking on requires vision and political will. In this ever changing world, we should sustain our faith in each other and maintain and consolidate our bonds of unity and solidarity”.
He decried: “Unfortunately, 34 members have arrears in contribution for a total amount of Euro 2,376,845 out of which 10 countries are under sanctions for having at least one full year of arrears”.
He reaffirmed that as the President of Council, it is his duty to call on those Member States which are yet to settle their arrears to do so at their earliest convenience, to ensure that the Secretariat is able to fully carry out its mandates.
Hon. Mambury Njie was President of the OACPS Council of Ministers from February to July 2020 and chaired the Extra-ordinary session of the Council on the 28th of July this year.
The Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Honorable Mambury Njie led the Gambian delegation, which included the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ms. Ada Gaye and the Ambassador of The Gambia to the Kingdom of Belgium, H.E. Teneng Mba Jaiteh to this virtual meeting.